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2018 JPOW Mission Initiatives
Meet local and international partners

JPOW Recommended Reading 
Book List from 2014 and 2016 Summer Reading Groups

JPOW: Justice Poverty Oppression Women

Beginning in 2013, we began to focus our mission efforts on justice, poverty, oppression, and women: JPOW. Through events like the Girl Rising film screening, Summer Institute, Summer Reading Groups the Global Church Conference, we've had the opportunity to learn about the oppression of women both locally and globally and to examine how God might be calling us to act as people of faith. Join us as we move from education to engagement through service.

For more information, contact Beth Thomsen at

Read about all of our Local Mission Partners and Global Mission Partners.


Ongoing Local Opportunities

There are always opportunities to serve with some of our JPOW Mission Partners! If you would like to know more about how to get involved in the local community, feel free to contact Beth Thomsen at


Supporting Refugees- International Rescue Committee (IRC)

As of March 15th, 2018, the Oakland office of the IRC, has received 121 Refugees since October 2017 of whom 887% are Afghan, 22% are under 5 years old, and 17% are ages 5-17. Individuals and families are still arriving and very much need and deserve support and assistance. Click here to read more about the life of a refugee family relocated to Oakland from Afghanistan.

How can you help?

  • Give: Clipper cards loaded with $20+ are needed to help clients get to and from appointments as well as to jobs. Bikes are also in high demand. Please email Volunteer & Donations Coordinator,
  • Advocate: Visit to stand with the banned and sign up to receive mobile and email updates.
  • Attend: The next Informational Session at the IRC Oakland office. You can find a complete list of upcoming dates here. Email Acting Development Manager, is you would like an IRC Representative to speak at your event.


Days of Service | Do Justice

Upcoming Dates: Sunday, June 1, 2019
Location: Various sites around the East Bay
More Information: For more information, please visit

Days of Service are opportunities to gather family, friends, and neighbors to serve in our local community. Project Peace, our partner for Do Justice, connects local churches and social service providers that work together for just and sustainable communities in Berkeley, Oakland, and surrounding areas. Join friends from First Pres Berkeley and other East Bay churches to worship God together through acts of service.

Habitat for Humanity Third Saturday Builds

Date: Third Saturday of each month, ongoing
Time: 8:30 am–4 pm
Location: Varies in the East Bay
More Information: Please contact Beth Thomsen at

Join an ecumenical and interfaith crew of volunteers in the East Bay to build affordable homes with Habitat locally. First-timers and experienced builders welcome, ages 16 and up, on the third Saturday of each month. We build to end generational poverty and put God’s love into action. To volunteer for a build, click here to sign up. 

Oakland International High School

Our JPOW Partner Oakland International High School (OIHS) has a student population that is primarily comprised of refugees and immigrant newcomers who are adjusting to life here in the US. The school has an ongoing need for classroom aids, after school tutors, social service navigators, and mentors. To learn more click here to watch a short video and/or contact Beth Thomsen at

Harbor House

Harbor House has a long history of extending love, compassion, and welcome to immigrant and refugee families in Oakland. Below are some ways that you can join them in this urgent work:

1. Tutor/mentor kids in Harbor House's after-school program, particularly with English language learners.

2. Write encouraging notes of welcome to the adults in the ESL program.

3. Provide snacks/baked goods for adults in the ESL program or kids in the after-school program.

4. Help provide childcare for preschoolers/toddlers while their mothers attend the ESL class.

For more information on any of these opportunities, please email or call (510) 534-0165.

Cityteam Oakland

First Pres JPOW partner Cityteam has a number of opportunities for volunteer engagement.

  • Outreach/Prayer Walks—Cityteam believes in the power of prayer and reaching out to the community around us. Every Friday and Saturday we pack up hygiene kits and bag lunches to take to the homeless encampments in our area. Please come join us to make lunches, show kindness to the poor, and to pray for our city. This opportunity is open Friday’s and Saturday’s 11am–1:30pm.
  • Kitchen Assistance—Cityteam Oakland serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year. The kitchen is open to volunteers 9am-7pm Monday through Saturday.
  • Learning Center—The Learning Center provides educational/vocational services to clients in Cityteam's Recovery Program. Volunteers are needed on a weekly, ongoing basis on Tuesday and Thursday from 1–4 pm.
  • Clothing and Laundry—Volunteers are needed for 2 hours 2–3 times a week to help maintain a clean and comfortable experience for those in need.

To view a full list of volunteer opportunities and to sign up, visit

Faith Network of the East Bay

First Pres JPOW partner Faith Network has a number of opportunities for volunteer engagement.

Reading Tutor  Inspire a child to become a successful reader! Cultivate reading at the student's level and pace with sight words, phonics, word games, and easy book reading. Training is provided. 2 hours per week during the school day.

Math Tutor  Show a child that math is fun, not hard! Help a child to develop basic math skills through interactive activities and homework assistance. Training is provided. 1+ hours per week during the school day.

CareerBridge Mentor — Be a mentor. Just one hour per week in spring and summer can help a young adult prepare for their crucial final years of high school. Be a positive role model for youth by listening to them, helping them make positive choices, and providing them with a glimpse at what a great career looks like. We provide the training. You provide the wisdom. 1 hour per week during the school day.

To view a full list of volunteer opportunities and to sign up, visit

About Faith Network of the East Bay —Faith Network of the East Bay is a community called by God to work for the SHALOM of the city –its health, welfare and prosperity. Their programs succeed because individual volunteers, congregations, community based organizations, corporations and local businesses share their time and resources. And the key to unleashing resources is to create a spectrum of practical entry points for people and groups to invest in the next generation. Today, Faith Network offers an array of volunteer opportunities in under-resourced public schools in 4 main program areas –Career Bridge, Health4Kids, Science Horizons, and Succeeding by Reading. For information on volunteer opportunities visit or contact Pearl Wang at (510) 836-5100.